#AAYP 2014: Accountancy Age’s 35 under 35

#AAYP 2014: Accountancy Age's 35 under 35

Accountancy Age and Financial Director celebrate the UK's brightest accounting and finance talent

WELCOME to the third annual ’35 under 35′, where we flag up some of the best and brightest accountancy talent in the UK. With our highest number of entries, the Accountancy Age/Financial Director editorial team faced an unenviable task. But here it is. Follow #AAYP on Twitter for more discussion on our Young Professionals Day.


Saira Ahmad YanezaSaira Ahmad-Yaneza ACA
Age: 28
Manager, sectors audit, KPMG
Ahmad-Yaneza has shown incredible vision and leadership in her involvement in the successful Unilever audit pitch and, now, delivery. All the while ensuring that her other clients were not neglected and continued to be properly handled. She is a really impressive young woman.

ArifAhmadMohammad Arif Ahmad ACA
Age: 27
Commercial finance manager, Euro Garages
Arif Ahmad works closely with the finance director in order to develop the finance and operation functions and to support the company through its significant expansion plans, which include both acquisitions and organic growth.
He was nominated for the ‘rising star’ award at the North West Society of Chartered Accountants’ accountancy and business awards last year. Euro Garages is one of the UK’s largest privately-owned forecourt operators. It has strategic brand partnerships with BP, ESSO, Shell, SPAR, Starbucks, Subway, Greggs and Burger King.


George AcquahGeorge Acquah ACA
Age: 30
Senior Associate, PwC
Acquah is a prize-winning accountant who dedicates his time to representing students, promoting the profession and inclusivity in the workplace.
His achievements include: Winning a Northern Chartered Accountant Students’ Society student prize in 2013 for raising sponsorship for events; Being Vice Chair of NCASS Committee; Mentoring in ICAEW’s Business, accounting and skills education competitions; and being active in PwC’s Africa group aiming to raise the profile and increase opportunities for members of staff of African origin. He has also appeared on ‘Songs of Praise’ for his involvement in charity and church communities.

Paul BarnesPaul Barnes ACCA CTA
Age: 27
Owner, My Accountancy Place
Barnes has had a rapid rise to running his own accountancy practice. He first began his career at Manchester Metropolitan University where he graduated just five and a half years ago with first class honours in Accounting and Finance.
Immediately after graduation, Barnes moved to Cambridgeshire to begin a training contract with Price Bailey. Barnes returned to his northern roots in 2009 when he joined Danbro in Blackpool before moving to The Accountancy People, where he took over responsibility for managing their Manchester office. While growing and managing the practice, Barnes also studied towards the CTA with the CIOT. In 2013 Barnes obtained his ACCA practicing certificate and in January 2014 founded his own practice, My Accountancy Place.

Katherine Bowen ACCA
Age: 23
Accounts trainee, Gerald Thomas & Co
Bowen was recently awarded the gold medal by ACCA for the highest aggregate global score in her three skills papers in the professional section of ACCA’s exams. She works as an accounts trainee for Swansea-based Gerald Thomas & Co.

Lee BradburyLee Bradbury ACA
Age: 32
Partner, Forrester Boyd
Bradbury joined Forrester Boyd in 2000 after studying A levels, qualifying as a chartered accountant in 2005 and being shortlisted for Humberside & District Young Chartered Accountant of the Year in the process. At a young age, he was promoted to manager in 2009 and became one of our youngest partners in April 2013.
Lincolnshire-born and raised in a farming family, Lee has extensive knowledge of the local agricultural sector. He heads up the agricultural specialist team based at the firm’s Louth office in the heart of the Lincolnshire Wolds, and is building on the already strong reputation the firm has for its agricultural specialism in the area.

Chris Brazier ACA
Age: 30
Corporate Finance Manager, Roffe Swayne
Shortlisted for the Young Dealmaker of the Year award at South East Insider Dealmaker Awards in 2013 and 2014.
Brazier advises on a full range of SME transactions across multiple sectors as well as specialising in business valuations and financial modelling. His deal highlights include: Advising on the sale of a solutions provider to the oil and gas sector to a listed Norwegian company; Assisting a client in becoming the first beneficiary of funding from Santander’s breakthrough fund; Advising a unified communications integrator on their sale to a private equity backed IT, datacentre and telecoms consolidator.

Jasmine BrookJasmine Brook ACCA, AAT
Age: 21
Accountant, Wellers Accountants
Jasmine became the youngest ever qualified accountant at Wellers at the age of just 21. She is testament to the fact that you don’t have to go to University to enjoy a successful professional career. Having obtained her GCSEs Jasmine forwent A-Levels to begin her AAT qualification. She joined the trainee scheme at Wellers and then moved on to her ACCA qualification which she passed earlier this year. In total it took Jasmine just 5 years from finishing her GCSEs to become a fully qualified accountant. She now looks forward to a fantastic future at Wellers.


Katy BruceKaty Bruce FCCA
Age: 32
Director of corporate finance, Critchleys
Bruce joined Critchleys at 18, she qualified in audit before choosing to specialise in corporate finance in 2005 and since then has gained strong experience in negotiating and managing transactions, in particular company sales/acquisitions, MBOs, company valuations and due diligence assignments. She has advised on a number of high profile transactions and in the past two years alone she has personally advised on transactions with a combined value in excess of £90m.
Bruce has had two young sons. Outside of work her sons keep her very busy but, she was Treasurer of Oxfordshire Community Foundation (OCF) until 2012, and chairs St Thomas Day Nursery, a charitable children’s day nursery with a turnover of £360,000.


Andrew ChartersAndy Charters ACA
Age: 32
Director, Grant Thornton
Charters is a director in the Complex and International Insolvencies team with significant cross-border insolvency and restructuring experience. His main focus is large complex insolvencies and restructurings, often involving proceedings in multiple jurisdictions with substantial debt and asset levels.
He has experience in dealing with insolvency issues in a wide range of different jurisdictions, including: Singapore, Cyprus, Hong Kong, Switzerland, a number of Caribbean countries and the US. He was promoted to director in 2013 having previously been one of the UK firm’s representatives on the Advanced Manager Programme, which is a global programme for the future leaders of our business. He is married with a ten-month old baby and speaks fluent French.


Gemma ClarkGemma Clark ACA
Age: 34
Director, PwC
Clark joined in 2001 and has quickly progressed through the ranks. She has completed a number of secondments including working with PwC’s London Assurance Executive Board and as part of ASDA’s finance function. Clark is an alumni of PwC’s award-winning global leadership programme Genesis Park, aimed at the top 2-5% of the talented and high achieving, who are on track for partnership. She now co-leads PwC’s Yorkshire & Humberside private client team, focusing on entrepreneurial, family and private equity backed business. She brings her energy and passion to her growing audit portfolio and through this is able to maximise value for her clients.

Ercan DemiralayErcan Demiralay ACA
Age: 28
Partner, Wellers Accountants
Demiralay was appointed partner at Wellers Accountants in 2103. At just 28 years old, he is the youngest partner at the firm. Demiralay’s ability to build strong relationships and manage his clients by supervising their finances has ensured many of the companies he has worked with have achieved both rapid and sustainable growth. After achieving a first class honours degree in Accounting and Finance, he joined Wellers in 2007 on the graduate recruitment programme.

Manish DevManish Dev ACA
Age: 34
Owner, Dev Chartered Accountants
Dev has recently stepped down from the role of Vaioni FD to set up his own practice. He has more than ten years’ experience in accounting and finance. A graduate of the University of Manchester, Manish trained with Baker Tilly’s Audit Practice in Liverpool and moved into industry working in prominent finance and risk compliance positions with a major global manufacturing company and a financial institution in London and Dublin.
Relocating back to North West England, he further developed his career in corporate finance, management consultancy and interim finance director placements. Notable achievements include refinancing of a £40m group of companies, raising private equity funds for a number of businesses and project management and delivery of operational control projects


Storme DuroseStorme Durose ACA
Age: 31
Assurance manager, PWC
Durose specialises in the audit of private businesses and brings plenty of enthusiasm and drive to her role. She is very much appreciated by her clients and enjoys excellent relationships with them. During her ACA qualification, Storme was a tremendous support of the ICAEW and more locally: Birmingham Chartered Accountants Student Society and Young Chartered Accountants’ Group. She won Young Chartered Accountant of the Year from the ICAEW in 2012, and was nominated and appointed chairman of the Birmingham and West Midlands Young Chartered Accountants Group for 2012. Under her chairmanship, she has organised a number of business development events such as Wine Tasting as well as the Annual Charity Ball at Villa Park. This event was attended by 180 people, which saw an increase of 60 people from the previous year.


Aaron Etingen London School of Business and FinanceAaron Etingen ACCA
Age: 34
Executive chairman and founder, London School of Business and Finance (LSBF)
As an Economics graduate and a fully qualified Chartered Certified Accountant, Etingen began his career as a financial analyst and FD in investment banking. He progressed to investing in international real estate and at the age of 24, he was able to realise his vision of bringing a world-class business education when he founded the London School of Business and Finance (LSBF).
LSBF has risen quickly to a position as one of the world’s fastest-growing business schools with over 30,000 students and alumni from more than 150 countries worldwide. After consolidating its position as one of the top higher education providers in London, he invested in expanding the school and in establishing a global presence, with campuses across the UK, Canada, Singapore and over 30 offices spread all over the globe. On 21 April 2013, LSBF was awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for its achievements in international trade, one of the school’s most prestigious achievements to date.

Tim Everitt ACA
Age: 24
Audit manager, BDO LLP
Everitt joined BDO in Reading at 18 on the firm’s school leaver scheme and has risen through the ranks to become an audit manager. He has built a reputation for excellent leadership and strong commercial understanding with his portfolio including the management of two of BDO’s largest international clients, Specsavers and Agilent Technologies. This role sees him regularly travel throughout Europe, the US and Asia and he can be relied upon to deliver exceptional client service in the most challenging of circumstances. He is continually looking for ways in which BDO can improve audit quality and has played a key role in the national knowledge sharing process. In addition, he has taken an active role in staff development and acts as a counsellor for a number of junior members at the firm.


Tim FouracreTim Fouracre ACA
Age: 32
Founder and CEO, Clear Books
Fouracre graduated from the University of Nottingham in 2003 with a degree in
Mathematics and in 2007 qualified as a chartered accountant with KPMG. He then worked in the City at Arbuthnot Securities as an equity research analyst and in 2008 went on to launch his own innovative online cloud accounting company, Clear Books, which serves small businesses, including accountancy firms.
Under Fouracre’s leadership, Clear Books now has more than 6,000 business customers, continues to grow – adding more accountants all the time – and in February 2014 won the Best Accounting Suite Award at the inaugural UK Cloud Awards.
He sits on the general council of BASDA (Business Application Software Developers Association), is a member of the ICAEW and in 2012 won Hammersmith and Fulham’s young entrepreneur of the year award.


Stuart Godfrey ACA
Age: 31
Audit manager, BDO LLP
Godfrey manages one of BDO’s leading international clients. He engages directly with the most senior global management and stakeholders in this organisation and presents and carries himself with the gravitas of someone with many more years of experience. He is core to this client relationship and feedback from this client is exemplary. He specialises in the professional services sector and has created a networking forum for young professionals within the sector. This has not only created an opportunity to win business, but proved a great forum for a wide spectrum of young professionals to share experiences and create their own networks for the future.


Steve JacksonStephen Jackson ACCA
Age: 33
Accountant, EY (Aberdeen)
A genuine all-rounder with fantastic leadership abilities, he is recognised by clients and colleagues for his positive attitude and a level of commercial and strategic thinking that sets him apart from many of his peers. With a string of first time passes and the highest global marks in his final two ACCA papers, which earned him two global ACCA prizes. Jackson has now added excellent finance credentials to his existing skills and experience in languages, marketing, project management and commercial activities.


Tim JonesTim Jones ACA
Age: 32
Head of financial and management accounting, Arqiva
Jones began his career at BDO becoming ACA-qualified at just 22, quickly progressing to audit manager with a portfolio of clients including TMT and automotive sectors. He then joined Arqiva, progressing to financial accounting manager where he was responsible for establishing the group’s accounting approach to its £3bn refinancing; helping deliver half year results in record time, which supported Arqiva’s first ever listed bond issue in February 2013.
Jones is now head of financial and management accounting; with a team of 17 he is focused on driving efficiency and quality of management information and quarterly external reporting and he is leading the group’s strategy for developing a commercial accounting approach for its new £625m contract for smart metering.


Andrew LangfordAndrew Langford ACA
Age: 33
UK Director of Finance, Global Payments
Langford joined Global Payments in July 2011 as a board member. He started during a period of significant change for the company following a recent acquisition. Since then, Langford has overseen a number of ambitious initiatives. He overhauled and re-launched the sales commission scheme for all 120+ of the sales staff, a significant undertaking which required a vast amount of planning and preparation. More recently, he has launched a programme of quarterly roadshows within the company to enable all Global Payments’ staff to better understand its financial performance and results. Langford has impressed with his ability to learn very quickly and adapt to working in what is a relatively specialist sector, as well as his leadership skills within the management team.


Kirsty MacDonaldKirsty MacDonald CTA
Age: 33
Senior private client manager, Jackson Stephen LLP
MacDonald has been with independent accountancy practice Jackson Stephen for just over 12 months, where she develops innovative wealth protection and preservation strategies for a number of high net-worth clients. Over her ten-year career she has worked with small and large multinational organisations, both onshore and offshore and has many high-profile clients under her belt including lottery winners, sports stars, media professionals and entrepreneurs. At Jackson Stephen, she manages a team of ten people, motivating them to meet the firm’s financial targets, as well as developing their technical and commercial capabilities. Since Kirsty joined, she’s grown the company’s private client arm exponentially, helping to bring in a number of new clients and grow the business’ service offerings.

Hugo MansfieldHugo Mansfield CA
Age: 33
Assistant Director, corporate finance advisory, Deloitte
Mansfield joined Deloitte after qualifying with an ICAS (CA) and having spent several years handling M&A at an investment bank. Mansfield specialises in mid-market M&A while maintaining several additional roles within the company, including national manager for graduate recruitment for the Deloitte corporate finance advisory; and leading and managing the Deloitte South West technology, media and telecommunications marketing and business development efforts. Most recently he identified, originated and advised on a disposal of a privately owned company with an enterprise value well in excess of £50m.


Debbie Mayor CA
Age: 33
Associate director, corporate finance, Grant Thornton UK LLP
Mayor qualified as a CA with Grant Thornton in 2005. She joined the corporate finance team in July 2006, specialising in transaction advisory services. Reporting to corporate management teams, PE houses, banks and nominated advisors, she has experience of both UK and international transactions, across a range of sectors, with a key focus on the food and drink. In addition to her transactional role, Mayor was selected to attend the Grant Thornton global development programme for future leaders of the firm in 2011/12 and she now leads the International Markets Team in Scotland. Locally, she has established the Scottish Chairman’s Workshop, which is entering its fifth year.


Gerry McLaughlinGerald McLaughlin CA
Age: 32
Assistant director, Campbell Dallas
McLaughlin joined Campbell Dallas in 2005 having qualified as a CA in audit in a previous firm. He has worked on and managed a number of business planning and fundraising assignments and has a keen interest in all forms of media, with an emphasis on music. His experience in working with businesses in all stages of their life cycle, from early stage start-up to multi-million pound disposals, is valuable when negotiating with potential funders and acquirers. The Corporate Finance team were named Deal making Team of the Year 2010 at the Scottish Business Insider Deals: Dealmakers Awards.


Peter McMahonPeter McMahon CTA, ATT
Age: 34
Tax partner, Grunberg & Co
McMahon started life, as most tax practitioners do, as an accountant. He always had a passion for tax and dealt with the bulk of the tax work at the west end firm he was working for when he started his career. After getting his ATT he found an opportunity to concentrate his tax knowledge by joining Grunberg & Co as a tax senior in 2005. McMahon was rewarded for his hard work and technical skills by being appointed as the tax manager of the firm in 2008. He then qualified as a CTA whilst growing the tax department from a 3 staff compliment to the current 8, with the team offering a wide range of specialised taxation services, including probate work and R&D tax, many of which are not offered by other similar sized firms. McMahon was made a partner in 2011, at the age of 31 and having just qualified as a CTA, and he now has his own rapidly expanding portfolio of clients.

Jamie NiceName: Jamie Nice ACA
Age: 29
Associate, Rickard Keen LLP
Nice joined the firm in 2003 from school completing his ACA qualifications, winning an ICAEW national prize. He helped set up the firm’s Basildon office in 2005 and then moved to a top-25 firm, gaining breadth of experience and expertise.
Returning to Rickard Keen in 2011, Nice was awarded ‘Young Chartered Accountant of the Year’ at the 2012 ICAEW Essex Awards. In 2013 he was promoted to Associate and, unfazed by having three children under three, he completed his CTA qualifications in 18 months. Now directing the tax department, he specialises in Corporate Tax and VAT

Christian Roelofs CA
Age: 33
Director, Grant Thornton
After qualifying as a CA with Bentleys MRI & PwC in Australia working in business services and tax, Roelofs moved to Macquarie Bank’s in-house advisory team covering a suite of global asset leasing and lending businesses including car leasing, smart metering, shipping, rail and aviation. In this role he moved across to London in 2008 to represent the team in the Northern Hemisphere and expand the businesses across UK, Europe and North America. In 2011, Roelofs moved across to Grant Thornton to build out a unique team within financial services advisory focussed on leasing, asset and consumer finance. He is a founding fellow of the Leasing Foundation and was selected to participate in the foundations future leaders programme this year with a select group of peers.

Jack SrivenJack Scriven ACMA
Age: 32
Head of finance and commercial, HCT Group
Scriven’s passion for social enterprise – and the role that finance plays in its success – has been instrumental in helping HCT Group, a social enterprise in the transport industry and registered charity, grow its turnover from £20m to £43m over the last five years.
In addition to the ‘day job’ of managing the finance department for a £43m multi-site business, Jack has brought his skills, leadership and expertise to meet a wide variety of the organisation’s current challenges.

Hannah SheathHannah Sheath ACA
Age: 27
Adviser and capital raising, ClearlySo
Sheath helps social enterprises and social businesses become investment ready in order to raise the capital they need to grow and succeed. Prior to joining ClearlySo, she spent four years in the Mergers & Acquisitions department at Ernst & Young, where she executed mid-market sell side transactions across a range of sectors, including energy services. She brings her financial expertise to the social impact investment space where she supports investors and entrepreneurs to close deals that create financial as well as social returns. She believes the social business model is essential for creating the environment to drive long term positive social change within our society – and she has a passion for sustainability and ethical food.


nick-skerrattNick Skerratt ACA CTA
Age: 30
Partner, Robinson Reed Layton
Skerratt qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2007 and as a Chartered Tax Adviser in 2008. He was then appointed a Partner in 2012 at just 28 years old.
Skerratt deals with a range of businesses, advising on accounts, business matters and tax. He also advises individuals on tax matters and is the firm’s specialist in estate administration and executorships.
He has personal experience in the construction industry, having been co-director of a company which developed several properties in West Cornwall.


David SodenDavid Soden ACA
Age: 32
Director, restructuring services, Deloitte
Soden joined Deloitte in 2006 and is now a director in the firm’s restructuring services team. He specialises in dealing with complex, multi-jurisdictional restructuring and insolvency assignments. He has led some of Deloitte’s largest restructuring deals, often with debt over £500m, and regularly advises lenders, hedge funds and corporates alike. Since being shortlisted for the rising star category of an industry award campaign in 2010, Soden has been regarded as one to watch in the restructuring world. He maintains a keen focus on personal development, while also taking a great interest in the development of his team.


William Thompson ACCA
Age: 27
Project Accountant, Circle Housing
Will has been working as part of the finance project team for the last few months.
Placed 3rd in the ACCA Global Exam Awards in 2013 – the highest UK achievement
Has an excellent understanding of the key financial drivers across Circle Housing (and, therefore social housing) having successfully progressed in the key finance areas of asset reporting, income reporting and management accounting.
Due to his ability to quickly identify and grasp key business issues, Thompson is regularly called upon to act as an internal consultant to provide clarity and direction, especially when working collaboratively to help non-finance staff make better quality decisions.


Juan WattersonHon. Juan Watterson ACA
Age: 33
Politician, member of the House of Keys, Parliament of the Isle of Man
Watterson is an ACA who is carving out a career as a successful politician after working as a chartered accountant at KPMG for five years.
He is the second youngest politician ever elected to the Parliament of the Isle of Man. He was re-elected in 2011 with the highest number of votes recorded in Rushen since the 1986 boundary changes.
Other achievements include: Junior Minister responsible for the Financial Services Sector; Chairman of the Planning Committee; Chair of ICAEW Student Council between 2006-2007; Having his own Wikipedia page.


Oliver WrightOliver Wright ACA
Age: 32
Senior manager, PwC
Wright is a core member of PwC’s restructuring practice in Manchester, having joined the firm in 2003. His drive and hunger to win work has led him to be recognised for his wide ranging network of contacts including banks, other lenders, lawyers and corporates.
Recent projects include spending 15 months on secondment within RBS’s global restructuring group. He recently led the turnaround and restructuring of a regional family business, avoiding closure and preserving over 100 jobs in the region. He is the group people manager for Manchester’s restructuring team, consisting of a team of around 30 and this year was chosen to focus on growing PwC’s North West corporate restructuring offering.

Resources & Whitepapers

How to optimise your compliance lifecycle

How to optimise your compliance lifecycle

The new rules of accounting

The new rules of accounting

5 ways internal productivity can boost your profitability

5 ways internal productivity can boost your profitability

Crushing the Four Barriers to Growth

Crushing the Four Barriers to Growth


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